England will come face-to-face with a World Cup legend in their opening group match – Iran's somersault star Milad Mohammadi.
That name might not ring too many bells straight away, but it's one that most football fans who watched the 2018 tournament in Russia will be aware of. Mohammadi, 29, produced one of the moments of the competition during Iran's group stage game against Spain.
With Iran 1-0 behind and only seconds left on the clock, Team Melli were presented with a huge chance to get the ball into the box one last time after the ball went out for a throw-in.
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Mohammadi confidently strode over to the ball, picked it up and gave it a big kiss before pointing to the sky. After rolling the ball in his hands and giving another look up to the sky, he prepared to finally launch it into the box.
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Except what happened next caught everyone by surprise. Instead of simply throwing it into the mixer, the Iranian star attempted a somersault to help gain more traction on the throw.
Although he managed to stick the somersault perfectly, he got the execution all wrong and had to abort the throw-in at the final moment.
Having lost his nerve, Mohammadi retook the throw-in, but this time he opted to throw it backwards, rather than into the penalty area. Iran lost all of their momentum and Spain held on for a 1-0 win, but it was Mohammadi who made headlines after the game.
One Twitter user said: "I'm still laughing my head off over that Iranian attempting the somersault throw in then." Someone else said: "My favourite moment of the World Cup without a doubt, a flip throw in the final seconds."
England fans could get a taste of Mohammadi's hilarious antics in their first game of the 2022 World Cup. The wing-back has been included in Iran's squad for the tournament and is a potential option for Carlos Queiroz at the Khalifa International Stadium.
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